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Orbitsound T12 v2 Soundbar - Sound Quality and Verdict

By Hugo Jobling

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

The sense of space the soundbar creates gives a good level of immersion when watching films. It's not as encompassing as a quality 5.1-channel surround sound setup, but it's not trying to be. It is we think, a more immersive and enjoyable effect than virtual surround sound. And arguably, it's less distracting and fatiguing to listen to sound coming from the direction you're looking, which lets you concentrate more on the picture.

It's with music that the Orbitsound T12 v2 really excels, though. With an iPod plugged into the system's dock - or any other source connected for that matter - the special stereo tech really shows its prowess. Again, that the subwoofer isn’t always entirely cohesive is an occasional problem, but the high- and mid-range performance of the soundbar is sunblime.

The Orbitsound T12 v2 does a great job of resolving detail in tracks played through it. Vocals in particular come across well-defined, standing out from the rest of the mix, but without sounding detached. There's a great sense of placement in the instrumentation, too. You can really get a sense of where in the mix that guitar, or those drums, or these violins were placed during production.

You'll get the same effect when sitting in the sweet spot of any stereo speaker set-up of course, or when wearing a high-end pair of headphones, but the beauty of the Orbitsound T12 v2 is that its spatial stereo tech works irrespective of where you are in relation to the system.

Letting the side down is the remote control. While the buttons are logically laid out, they're installed in cheap and nasty plastic that feels horrible in the hand. And while it does its job, there's no denying that for a lot of potential buyers, the subwoofer will prove inconveniently large. If Orbitsound can produce an all-in-one system similar in size to just the soundbar part of this unit, it'll really be onto a winner.

Verdict

The Orbitsound T12 v2 soundbar produces an almost eerily immersive stereo output that's truly a pleasure to listen to. While we have a few niggling criticisms, they're not with the system's performance.

Overall Score

8

Scores In Detail

  • Value 8
  • Sound Quality 9

Mike Turner

July 14, 2010, 12:33 pm

I have had the T12 soundbar for the last 6 months. It is the first version without the optical inputs. To say that I have been impressed with the sound quality of this thing is an understatement! It has transformed my family's TV watching experience. The depth and space it creates is uncanny coming as it does from a modest sized unit that sits happily under the TV with the sub tucked behind a curtain out of sight. Action movies are amazing. I used to have a decent 5.1 surround sound system but succumbed to the wishes of my wife to reduce mess and wires. The T12 has proved to be the perfect replacement. I would recommend this in a heart beat!

the near side

July 14, 2010, 4:53 pm

PLEASE, Please, please, look out for similar offerings (with a smaller sub-woofer with volume cotrol,or no sub-woofer at all) and review. There must be many people who, like me, want decent sound without enormous expensive speakers and a forrest of wiring.





Thanks too for the information provided in the other reviews I have read.

Keithe6e

July 14, 2010, 7:10 pm

@the_near_side: PLEASE, Please, please, look out for similar offerings





Try typing soundbar into the search.


http://www.trustedreviews.com/...

the near side

July 14, 2010, 11:13 pm

@Keith - Possibly I should have added that my search would be limited to soundbars with stereo only and without a "sweet spot". Thanks anyway, I have seen most of the other TR reviews of soundbars.

Tony Walker

July 15, 2010, 8:29 am

@Hugo





The wireless option would be equally limited (perhaps more so) by the need for it to be near a plug

simonpjd

August 26, 2010, 7:21 pm

How would I connect this to my SKYHD box. It has a digital audio output - does this work. Or do I simply use the usual audio cables.

JohnSC

September 25, 2010, 11:30 am

Answering Simonpjd's comment, the T12 v2 does have a digital optical input and comes with a cable to connect to your digital audio output, but rather than connecting to your SkyHD box you are much better connecting direct to the TV using the digital input. Then the T12 soundbar will play whatever you are watching on the TV at the time and you don't need to change anything if you are playing a DVD or Blu-ray. My own personal favourite feature of my T12 v2 soundbar is the video out - i love watching video content from my iPhone through the T12 on my flat panel TV - the old version i had before couldn't so this so this is a big step forward.

Stereophile

January 8, 2011, 6:49 pm

It takes a bit of perseverance to get the best out of this system. Positioning of the subwoofer is critical. It needs a good deal of free space around it (especially the rear ports) and should be placed well away from a corner; otherwise it is horribly boomy and distortive and drowns out the sound bar. It took quite a lot experimentation to get that right. Secondly, I found the sound improved hugely after the rather basic speaker cables supplied were replaced with good quality audio cables. Finally, be prepared to keep adjusting the tone controls according to the type of music you are listening to. Follow these rules and it works pretty well.

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